Mars Needs Moms. Looking at the title right away, I knew the film was going to be an epic disaster of all proportions, and it didn't shock me that the film became one of the biggest box-office flops to come out of Hollywood in recent years. Curious of why it flopped, I decided to check the film out for myself and see why the film notoriously bombed. It turned out that the film is one of the biggest movie-watching mistakes I've ever made in my life. Mars Needs Moms is truly a bomb, and I don't mean it's spectacularly good.
The film is about a boy named Milo who's sick of doing chores for his mom, wishing that he didn't need one. He finds out the hard way that he needs a mom when she is abducted by Martians from the planet Mars. Milo hitches a ride to the planet, and discovers that the aliens intend to eliminate her brain and give it to robots to teach their alien children to behave. Teaming with fellow human Gribble, who had a similar life-changing experience as a kid, Milo races to save his mom before it's too late.
Now I have to admit. I love motion-capture technology, especially in animated films. I was highly impressed by the facial techniques in The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol, along with Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin. Here, the technology is a waste. The landscapes are a ginormous, boring, wasted mess, the characters look like they're half-asleep all the time, and the aliens look as though it was imitated in a Star Wars movie. Robert Zemeckis, who directed both Polar Express and Christmas Carol, and produced this, should be ashamed of being involved in wasting technology he helped pioneer. No wonder why Disney shut his company down after the film flopped!
The characters and the voice actors clearly wasted their talents here. Seth Green voices the kid Milo, and it looked like he is going to play the part well, but what ruined it was at the last second, Disney redubbed his voice with literally an annoying bratty kid who sounds like Jake Lloyd. Man that was false advertising. Especially in the credits, you see a making of the film where you hear Green's actual voice, and it's not as annoying as what we ended up getting. So I had no sympathy for the kid. Dan Fogler voices Grubble the Mars nerd, and is also very annoying. If a guy like that was living in my house, I would easily send him off to a mental institution, especially toward the end when he desires to fall for a rebel alien female. Man this guy's sick! I thought this was a Disney movie! As for the alien I mentioned, voiced by Elisabeth Harnois, she's even more annoying than the Green redubbed kid and Fogler combined. When the character starts to act like hippies, I completely lost it. Joan Cusack voices the mom, and while her voice works well as Jessie the cowgirl in the Toy Story films, here, I was annoyed again. If she was my mom, I would disown myself. End of story. And finally, Mindy Sterling voices the alien leader, and is also very annoying, mostly because her character mostly speaks in alien language and there's no translation/subtitles to hear what she's saying. The alien sounds like, "ALOASJDVHWOIEJFHQLAJEFHBOLSEJDGHFOSLDJHFGVLSZEDJYFBVALSZ,EDKRFYHBVLCIUKRJYCVGBL,RKFJHBCLS.RUCBHVN;ELRUFBCHVN ;OSITRFYGHJFSEDRUKFYGHBVN;OSRIFJKHBSEVO;ITRUFHGBVN;OD!" and I couldn't get a word of it. Pretty lazy for the director's part.
If it's Disney, I know that I'm going to receive the best family experience possible. In Mars Needs Moms, I left the film feeling depressed, offended, and literally confused. The story where the aliens abduct the moms, kill them, and take their brains out is something that would definitely scar a kid for life, especially if a 5-year-old was watching this. Man did I feel bad for little kids who ended up watching this on opening weekend. The story also confused me. The aliens abduct the moms from kids who hate their moms and also from certain kids who love their moms? WHAT??????? Also, the part where it's revealed that the alien wants to give the mom brains to robots to teach the alien girls and send the male population to the dumpster with the "dumb" alien "ape" males got me extremely offended. If a film depicts men as stupid apes and women as the higher species, then that draws the line there. I thought Disney was the studio who believed in good quality family entertainment and moral values for every member. I felt none of that when watching this. People made the right thing when avoiding this.
John Powell, who generally excels in scoring animated films, really disappoints here. There was literally nothing in the score that excited me, moved me, or put me in suspense. Like about everything else, as Lena Lamont says in Singin' in the Rain, "I CANNNNNN'T STAND IT!"
I would have given this a 0%, but I did enjoy the use of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" during the end credits which raised my overall score a little bit. Even with that one small redeeming factor, there was almost nothing that truly excited or wowed me in Mars Needs Moms. The premise is stupid, the motion-capture animation is the worst I've experienced, the characters are annoying and voice talent wasted, the story will likely scar every young kid for life and offend every male in America, and the score is an epic disappointment. Man I'm glad I didn't waste my money watching this and checked it out at the library instead. Now I completely understand why this film flopped. And I must say, it truly deserves it, more so than The Lone Ranger.